HERSCHEL, William James

HERSCHEL, William James. Slough, Buckinghamshire (now Berkshire) 9.1.1833 — Hawkhurst, Kent 24.10.1917. Sir, 2nd Bart. British Civil Servant in India. Son of the atronomer John H. (1792–1871) and Margaret Brodie Stewart. Served in Bengal in 1853-78 in various positions, finally 1872 Commissioner of Dacca and 1874 of Cooch Behar. In 1871 succeeded his father in title. Returned to England he lived at Warfield in Berkshire. Married 1864 Emma Haldane (d. 1873), two sons and two daughters. He is said to be the first European who, as a judge, understood the use of fingerprints for identification. This happened in the late 1850s, when he served as magistrate in Hooghly district. Hon. M.A. 1884 Oxford.

Publications: “Description of the Chandrarekhágurh near Sashtanee, Pergunnah Nyegur, Zillah Midnapore”, JASB 35:1, 1866, 181-186; “Description of a Hindu Temple converted into a Mosque at Gaganesvar, Zila Medinípur”, JASB 37:1, 1868, 73-76.

Writings not related to South Asia.

Sources: *Oxford D.N.B.; Wikipedia with photo.

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